In today’s Westminster Hall debate, I had the privilege of discussing the recruitment and retention of foster carers. This debate was secured by Kate Osbourne and gave me the opportunity to both praise the UK’s high standards in this field but to also discuss my concerns with the current state of the system.
Having met many foster carers who have been fostering for 30 or 40 years, I know that all owe a huge amount of respect to these carers. They often specialise and provide excellent support for children who have been through difficult and often traumatising experiences.
Drawing on my experience with the Local Government Association and with a variety of local authorities, I know the challenges of recruiting and retaining excellent foster carers. This largely comes down to the experience of foster carers when it comes to working with local authorities and the wider sector.
Throughout my remarks, I ensured to raise the concerns of the sector with the Minister present which I hope will be conveyed to his department and considered in the future.